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Axios – Chauvin trial prosecution worked with strategic communications firm

Axios: “For most of the past year, a strategic communications firm with deep Washington ties has played an integral role for the prosecution in the State of Minnesota v. Derek Chauvin — operating without pay and so under-the-radar that most of its own staff had no idea.

The big picture: Finsbury Glover Hering — formerly known as the Glover Park Group — has been conducting media monitoring and analysis as part of legal team special prosecutor Neal Katyal’s vision for a three-pronged “modern appeal/trial strategy.”

  • It was Katyal who last June pitched Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on bringing in experts from the firm. Katyal had previously worked with them in civil cases.
  • His strategy held that in such a widely watched criminal case, with such major repercussions for the country, it would be essential for the prosecution to simultaneously consider the trial, an inevitable appeal and how the verdict would sit with Americans overall.

What they’re saying: “We know in any high-stakes case like this there’s going to be an appeal,” said Katyal, a partner at Hogan Lovells and former acting U.S. solicitor general with extensive appellate and Supreme Court experience. He and his team of seven lawyers also provided their services free of charge.

  • “You’re thinking with one eye to the trial itself, and with the other, how’s it going to look on appeal,” he said. “We needed to understand what people would be thinking about after the trial was over.”…
  • “We wanted to get a sense of what the public reaction would be if there were a conviction, an acquittal or a mixed verdict,” he said. “Were there going to be any threats to public safety?”
  • “To win the trial is one thing. To win it in the eyes of the American people in the long term is a different thing,” he said. “As a prosecutor, your goal is not ‘to win a case’ — it’s to do justice. And part of doing justice is not just winning the case but understanding how the verdict will be received.”

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